YORKTOWN, Ind. — A couple arrested last month for stealing mail from over 30 people will not face federal charges, according to Yorktown Police and the United States Postal Inspector Service.
Tracey Hill and Eric Myers were accused of going through Yorktown, stealing mail, and then using that information to steal identities.
Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said official charges will be forthcoming.
Last month, the Woodland Hills neighborhood and the surrounding area in Yorktown were on high alert after mail went missing.
"It was really kind of scary," said victim Raean Rosenthall. She was waiting for a new driver's license and a 529 check for her son's college tuition. Neither arrived.
Police in Yorktown say they later found her mail, along with mail for over 30 others in the hands of Hill and Myers. They were arrested in September as they were driving around the Woodland Hills neighborhood late at night. In their car, police say they found stolen mail and meth.
"It's a terrible feeling to know that someone is stealing your identity, or attempting to,” Rosenthall said.
Police said the two had a garage full of equipment to make fake IDs and forge checks. They also were organized and kept documentation of people's personal information they collected.
“This isn't some 16-year-old kid taking birthday cards out of a mailbox," said Yorktown Police Chief Todd St. John. "This was a couple that had a criminal operation going on for at least 2 weeks, 3 weeks, maybe even longer."
St. John says the couple used the mail to forge checks, create fake ID’s, and steal identities, resulting in thousands of dollars and dozens of victims.
“For a little town like Yorktown, it is a huge deal," St. John said. "I take it personally, just like all my officers take it personally. We all live in this town, most of us graduated from Yorktown. We know these victims, and it’s a big deal to us.”
However, St. John said he was surprised to learn that federal charges will not be filed against either Hill or Myers.
“It's ingrained in your head as a kid ‘don't mess with mailboxes, it’s a federal offense,’" St. John said. "Well, apparently it’s not. Apparently it has to be so big or so important before it is a federal offense.”
The United States Postal Inspector Service responded to our request, saying they believed it was agreed upon between Yorktown Police and the USPIS that the case would be handled on the state level.
Yorktown police initially arrested the couple on charges of theft, identity theft, counterfeiting and possession of meth. Official charges are expected to be filed in Delaware county soon. For the time being, St. John says Myers and Hill are out on bond.
“It’s scary to think it was that easy for them to do it," Rosenthall said. She now checks her mailbox three times a day and checks her credit score daily. "I mean, it is kind of scary to think that they have this information and they’re out their still.”